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Sunday, Jan. 10, 2010

Program Aims to Boost Sustainable Transportation

A recently started program at Santa Clara will give those who normally bike to the university some reprieve on rainy days. Bicycle commuters are now eligible to receive a daily parking pass for those days when inclement weather, or other situations require a car be driven to the campus. Cyclists can earn points toward the receipt of a daily parking pass, depending on the time of year.

After arriving at the university by bike, program participants will present their Bicycle Commuter card at the main gate or at Campus Safety to be validated. Commuters can receive one daily parking pass for every five validations through the end of March. Beginning in April and lasting through June, cyclists can receive one parking pass for every ten validations.

The The university's Parking Auxiliary and Staff Senate sponsored the program. Both bodies believe it will encourage workers who live in the area to drive less without the fear of getting caught in bad weather. The program fits into broader sustainability goals drawn up by the university in recent years by reducing carbon emissions via fewer cars driven.

Only Santa Clara faculty and staff living more than 1.5 miles from campus are eligible to participate. Applications are available at Campus Safety, and can be turned in throughout the year. 

Business School Offers Course Bringing Together Leadership, Sustainability

Contemplative Leadership and Sustainability (CLS) is a new program for students in the Leavey School of Business. It was formed in the Undergraduate Business Programs office and funded by a Bannan Grant.

Students in the program will get the opportunity to experience local natural areas such as parks and reserves. Such exposure to the outdoors, coupled with guided reflection, will reveal the delicate relationship between humans and the environment. Program planners hope introducing the concept of sustainability to future business leaders will help guide society to a world better equipped to live within nature's means.

Though currently exclusive to business students, the program will be used as a model for future initiatives available to a broader student population

To learn more about the CLS program and to complete an application, please visit the web site here. Applications will be accepted through January 18, 2010.

Residence Life Models Eco Tray Program

The Office of Residence Life recently purchased Eco Trays for its Community Facilitators, Resident Directors and other staff members in an effort to promote the containers to on-campus residents. Just like the program available to all Santa Clara students, faculty and staff, Residence Life staff is expected to return their trays at the end of the year to reclaim their deposit.

Eco Trays allow students transport food from any of the on-campus cafes or dining hall in a reusable, dishwasher safe container. Instead of asking for a to-go plate, program participants simply exchange their Eco Tray key chain for a container when ordering food. People can then exchange dirty trays after their finished to any of the dining areas on campus for another key chain. Entry into the program requires a $10 deposit, which is fully refunded if the key chain is returned at the end of the year.

For more information, visit the Dining Services web site

Gyms, Parking Structure Topped with Solar Panels

Santa Clara recently signed a contract for the installation of one megawatt of solar panels on the campus. Several arrays will be placed on the roofs of the Leavey and Malley Centers, and will also act as shades on the third level of the parking structure. Construction began over the holidays and plans to run through early April. The additional solar capacity will satisfy about 6% of the university's typical electrical energy needs during the academic year. It will support nearly 20% of the summer daytime electricity demand, producing the most energy when peak loads are highest. The new source of energy will significantly reduce stress on the electrical grid and the resulting demand charges paid for summer usage. Increased solar energy production will bring long-term stability to the university's energy budget as electricity costs continue to rise. Expected operational date is April 2010.

By Chris Woodhouse, '10, Sustainability Intern.

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